The 12 Best Products Hitting Trader Joe's Shelves This Spring, According to Employees
You might be a Trader Joe's super-fan if…
✔️ You have at least 3 of the 2021 Trader Joe's Customer Choice Awards winners in your home as we speak.
✔️ You know how much a banana costs by heart (19 cents, always and forever!).
✔️ You subscribe and immediately listen to every episode of their podcast.
Yes, we know that last one sounds silly, but it's where we learn about what's new, next or best at Trader Joe's before our next shopping trip.
Case in point: On the latest episode of the Inside Trader Joe's podcast released on March 8, co-hosts Tara Miller, marketing director, and Matt Sloan, vice president of marketing, went back and forth sharing their favorite product picks for this spring. Some are already available, others are coming soon—and we now have a lot of great ideas to add to our Trader Joe's shopping lists!
The 12 Best New Spring 2021 Trader Joe's Products
1. Chocolate and Peanut Butter Joe-Joe Cookie
Chances are, if you like TJ's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, you'll love this new treat. Inspired by the Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe-Joe's that fly off shelves during the winter holidays, Sloan explains that this isn't just a cookie filled with peanut-flavored stuffing. The cookie developers "went from a dark chocolate coating to a milk chocolate coating to a peanut butter coating. I think it was worth it," he says. Miller adds, snacking as she chats: "I don't want to stop eating it!"
2. Almond Butter Almonds
Already available and already a hit, these nuts are "perhaps the almondiest almond product we've ever offered," according to the Almond Butter Almonds introduction on the Trader Joe's website. "A little more savory, saltiness than I remembered and I like that," Sloan says. It's not too sweet but still full of flavor, since the recipe starts with a roasted almond. "So you get that crisp roasted texture," he adds.
3. Grapefruit Body Butter
A new scent of an old beauty aisle favorite, this body butter has a moisturizing coconut oil base, plus vitamin E, aloe and a "very comfortable and warm aroma," according to Miller. Expect to spot it on shelves in early- to mid-March.
4. Ruby Red Grapefruit Segments
Peeled, packaged and ready to eat, Sloan admits the brand is handling a first world problem by taking the skin off the fresh and juicy citrus. "I'll take a moment to acknowledge how great life is when our biggest challenge is, 'God, that grapefruit is a real pain in the neck to deal with,'" he says.
5. Ginger-Lemon and Lemon-Strawberry Sparkling Apple Cider Vinegar Beverages
"Fermented beverages...things like kombucha, kefir water, even drinking vinegars have been getting a lot of attention, which is kind of exactly what we've done with these two new organic sparkling apple cider vinegar beverages," Sloan says. The hosts agree they make a lower-sugar swap for soda and pack a refreshing, tart and tangy flavor. "I'm a kombucha drinker. I really like kombucha and I know that this doesn't have those same sort of probiotic benefits, but this reminds me of kombucha. And I really like it," Miller says. "I wonder if you could use the Ginger and Lemon one to make a version of like a Moscow mule?" We like the way you think, Tara.
6. Oven-Baked Cheese Bites with Tomato and Chili
Miller describes these as "spicy, pizza-flavored oven-baked cheese bites," that pack in a little heat—reminiscent of the jar of red pepper flakes that's often served alongside your pie at slice shops. Sloan explains that these gluten-free bites are an evolution of sorts. "We started with the Plain Baked Cheese Bites, they were popular. We did a special holiday version of Truffle Cheese Bites and I think those have now become an everyday product, they're so popular. So if two is good, three must be better...I think this'll be really popular," he says.
7. Gluten-Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins
"I love cinnamon and sugar...I sometimes get a little anxious when we put certain claims on a label. So this label says that these muffins are 'moist' and it's like, 'Oh, I hope they really will be cause we've got to live up to that.' These deliver. They're incredibly moist," Sloan says. Studded with cinnamon chips and even better enjoyed after being warmed in the microwave for a few seconds, these muffins are fully baked and available in a four-pack near the other breads and baked goods.
8. Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Dip
Even though this new (and in stock now) dip is sold in the refrigerator section and designed to be served chilled, it might just be even better warm, Miller and Sloan say. Try slathering the cauliflower-based, 40-calorie-per-serving dip on focaccia, pizza crust or a halved baguette and broil until melty. "There is nothing cauliflower can't do. I never thought I would say those words because cauliflower has long...HAD long been my least favorite vegetable, just didn't like it. I eat it all the time now in all different kinds of ways. I eat riced cauliflower. I eat fried cauliflower. I eat roasted cauliflower," Miller says. "I'm about to go buy this Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Dip because it just has everything going on. It has creamy, creamy, creamy texture. It has a little kick from the jalapeño. It's super cheesy 'cause it has cream cheese, it has Parmesan cheese [and] it has ricotta cheese."
9. Organic Banana Fruit Spread
If you dig peanut butter and jelly, but are getting a bit bored by your usual fruit preserves, this might just be your jam (literally). It looks like butterscotch pudding, according to the hosts, but pairs well with peanut butter and bread or as a filling for peanut butter cupcakes. "I think this is going to be a hit," Sloan says.
10. Vegetable Samosa Burrito
A real contender for the #1 pick for both Sloan and Miller, this new Trader Joe's product features a "vegan samosa-inspired filling of potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and peas with savory spice tomato chutney in a flour tortilla. That's pretty much it. And it doesn't even begin to get close to how tasty this is and how aromatic it is when you heat it up. It's just got this wonderful, warm aroma," Miller says. Look for it coming soon in the refrigerated case. Each 480-calorie burrito has 11 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber, and is made fresh and delivered daily.
11. Cold Brew Coffee and Boba Coconut Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert
Miller's top choice of all new spring 2021 products? This available-now dairy-free dessert. "It is so good. It's cold brew coffee ice cream with boba, except it doesn't have any cream in it," she says. "It's made with coconut milk, but it doesn't taste like coconut. And there's something really cool to me about the combination of the coffee flavor and the boba, the little tapioca pearls." It tastes a bit reminiscent of Kahlúa, the hosts confirm, so they suggest for happy hour, you mix a scoop or two with a shot of vodka in a blender for a boozy (no)milkshake.
12. Rutland Red Leicester Cheese
This "spotlight cheese," available for about one month only, is Sloan's absolute top pick for best spring product. The United Kingdom-based cheese brand's "emphasis on tradition is what makes this traditionally made cheese so darn great," he says of Rutland's practices. "Some might want to call it a Cheddar and while you'd be close, there's some differences there...They actually wrapped the wheels in cloth and they actually use a butter paste on the outside of that cloth to sort of keep the moisture in and to control the aging process." It's aged 10 months and has a crumbly, melt-in-your mouth texture according to the Trader Joe's website product debrief.